String Instrument Sizing Guide
This guide is intended to give you a rough idea of the size of instrument your or your child will require. Please note that this is a rough guide only. For best results, you should consult with our string experts or your teacher before purchasing or renting.
One of the most important tasks we find ourselves undertaking at Simply for Strings is to size a student for their instrument. Whilst we always check sizing when you purchase an instrument, it is also important to talk to your teacher first about their thoughts on the appropriate size instrument. It is important to remember that we always err on the side of caution when it comes to instrument sizing. Unlike clothes, you cannot ‘grow into’ an instrument. If the instrument is too large then you will find yourself in severe pain when practising or performing. This often leads to a decrease in practice (and interest), which inevitably leads to the player choosing to forgo learning an instrument. Play pain-free and start with the right size violin, viola, cello or double bass from Simply for Strings.

Measuring Guide for Violin & Viola

Measure in centimeters from the neck to the middle of the palm.


Directions for Measuring: With the player’s arm fully extended and parallel to the floor, measure in centimetres from the neck to the middle of the palm.

1/16 35 - 38 CM 3 - 4 YRS
1/10 39 - 42 CM 4 - 5 YRS
1/8 43 - 46 CM 5 - 6 YRS
1/4 47 - 51 CM 6 -7 YRS
1/2 52 - 56 CM 7 - 8 YRS
3/4 57 - 60 CM 9 - 11 YRS
4/4 > 60 CM 11 - 13+ YRS

Directions for Measuring: With the player’s arm fully extended and parallel to the floor, measure in centimetres from the neck to the middle of the palm.

12" 53 - 55 CM
13" 55 - 59 CM
14" 59 - 63 CM
15" 63 - 65 CM
15" 1/2 65 - 67 CM
16" >67 CM

Directions for Measuring: Sizing cellos is slightly more complicated than sizing violins and violas. The student should be seated at the edge of a chair such that the knees are bent at a ninety-degree angle (feet flat on the floor). The upper edge (back of cello near where the neck joins the body) of the instrument should rest in the centre of the chest (on the sternum) and the C peg should be slightly behind the left ear. The knees should lightly grip the lower bouts ensuring that the corners do not dig into the side of legs. (Corners should be slightly above the inside of the knees). The student should be able to reach both ends of the fingerboard with ease. The chart below shows approximate sizing by age.

Note: 7/8 size cellos are available as well. This can be a useful transitional size or a more comfortable option for those players who prefer a slightly smaller instrument.

1/10 4 - 5 YRS
1/8 5 - 6 YRS
1/4 6 - 8 YRS
1/2 8 - 10 YRS
3/4 10 - 12 YRS
4/4 12 - 13+ YRS

Directions for Measuring: The 3/4 size double bass is the standard size for adults. 7/8 size basses and 4/4 sizes basses are made but they are less commonly used. As a rough guideline, when both the bass and the player are standing upright, the bridge should be approximately at the same height as the large knuckles of the student's right hand. The most important issue is that the instrument is comfortable and that the student can reach the higher registers of the fingerboard without difficulty.
The chart below shows approximate sizing by age.

1/16 3 - 4 YRS
1/10 4 - 5 YRS
1/8 5 - 7 YRS
1/4 7 - 9 YRS
1/2 9 - 13 YRS
3/4 13+ YRS

Load image into Gallery viewer, Mezzo Forte Carbon Fibre Viola 16.5" Load image into Gallery viewer, Mezzo Forte Carbon Fibre Viola 16.5"
Load image into Gallery viewer, Mezzo Forte Carbon Fibre Viola 16.5" Load image into Gallery viewer, Mezzo Forte Carbon Fibre Viola 16.5"
Load image into Gallery viewer, Mezzo Forte Carbon Fibre Viola 16.5"
Load image into Gallery viewer, Mezzo Forte Carbon Fibre Viola 16.5"

Mezzo Forte Carbon Fibre Viola 16.5"

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About Mezzo Forte Violas:

Much thought went into the development of both viola models. The aim being to produce a high-quality instrument for both the occasional and professional players. As with all Mezzo Forte carbon fiber instruments the emphasis is on comfort and playability, with no need for settling in time. 

There are two models available, the 15 inch (38.5 cm) model - for the smaller hand, and the 16.5 inch (42.5 cm) model. These two sizes cover a broad spectrum of usage. Benefit from the immediate response and tonal balance from both models. A powerful C string is the criteria by which to judge a viola. The excellent resonating properties of carbon fiber means both models have this quality in abundance. 

About Mezzo Forte Instruments:

Mezzo-Forte is now a company of highly skilled craftsmen working to exacting industrial standards. Crafting high-quality instruments from start to finish – made in Germany. 

Carbon fiber is enjoying increasing acceptance in the music industry; excellent quality carbon bows have established themselves on the market – something not thought possible 15 years ago. Carbon fiber stringed instruments have until now only been regarded as a niche product. The time has come to end a 300 year period of stagnation. Development and progress can be seen in all aspects of daily life: Why not in instrument making? Does wood have a soul? Is it because it‘s always been done this way? Or is it what people may think when seeing a black violin?

Mezzo Forte do not want to make traditional instruments superfluous. Their motivation is rather to open up new possibilities to muscians with complimentary products providing alternatives that were not previously available. Many years of hard work and commitment have gone into developing their instruments. Mezzo Forte believe they are providing a real alternative – not a replacement. Be inspired by these new and fascinating instruments; by their balanced sound, projection and unrivaled response. Making music easy! Forget concerns about your instrument being damaged whilst travelling, or customs issues regarding banned materials, sometimes found on wooden instruments. Play where and when you want, indoors or outside, in any climate, in any country. 


The Body

  • Two piece, layered carbon fiber. Strengthened at upper and lower blocks. 2 component lacquer.

The Fingerboard

  • A newly developed developed material from Flaxwood. Dark and hard like ebony. Smooth to the touch and perfectly shaped - and helping preserve natural resources. The decisive feature being the fingerboard will not warp - thus making it ideal for use with carbon fiber.

The Pegs

  • If only everyone knew how easy tuning is with the Wittner fine tuning pegs. No slipping, no twisting under pressure. Just a gentle turn of the peg. Modern, user-friendly technology that's great to use. 

The Bass Bar

  • Yes, a carbon fiber instrument needs a bass bar. It gives warmth to the lower strings and helps stablise the top. It is made of carbon and bonded to the instrument.

The Bridge and Soundpost 

  •  Here, Mezzo Forte stick with tradition. There is nothing to beat a top-quality wooden bridge. Using a traditional bridge allows a luthier to carry out fine adjustments to the instrument. 

The Hybrid Line

  • Turn the amplifier on, connect the violin, viola or cello and you can fill a stadium with sound. It's simple and effective. The built-in pick-up system delivers an accurate, natural reproduction of the instruments sound whilst not effecting its acoustic qualities. Whether you are playing jazz, rock, folk or classical - with a Hybrid Violin by Mezzo Forte, everything is possible. 

The Sound

  • Benefit from the excellent response and tonal balance. Warm bass and brilliant treble - these are the criteria we apply to our instruments. Each will have a subtle difference in tone; they are, after all, hand made and tonal adjustments can be made according to individual requirements.


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